Amazon's big TV takeover gets real with The Neon Demon acquisition

Amazon buys The Neon Demon

Having achieved success with the simultaneous theatrical and streaming release of its film Beasts of No Nation, Netflix has shown the world how lucrative it can be for streaming services to obtain and distribute their own films.

Amazon clearly agrees, with Variety reporting that the company has acquired The Neon Demon, a highly-anticipated horror thriller from Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the cult classic Drive.

Though The Neon Demon is not the first Amazon Original movie (that honour goes to the upcoming Spike Lee joint, Chi-Raq), it is probably the company's most high-profile acquisition, with a planned theatrical release slated for next year's U.S. summer, followed by early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video – not quite as impressive as Netflix's simultaneous home and cinema releases, but it's still pretty good.

Chi-Raq and The Neon Demon are just the start of Amazon Studios' grand plan, with the company having announced in January that it plans to bring 12 films per year to cinema screens and its streaming video on-demand service.

The film has been described by its director as "a horror film about vicious beauty", and stars Elle Fanning (below), Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves.

Amazon's Netflix strategy gets real with The Neon Demon

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.